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USGBC Recognizes ‘Best of Green Schools’

Print Article Contributed by BSM Staff

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO -- At a national award ceremony hosted by the Center for Green Schools at the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), the South San Francisco Unified School District (SSFUSD) was named one of nine national recipients of the 2019 Best of Green Schools Awards.

The awards represent the best environmental efforts in schools across the country and highlight national leaders in school sustainability. Along with fellow honorees and their long-term energy partner ENGIE Services U.S., SSFUSD accepted their award at the USGBC's Green Schools Conference and Expo on April 8 at the Saint Paul, MN RiverCentre.

Best of Green Schools recipients reflect the hard work being done in K-12 schools through grassroots organization, cross-sector collaboration, and hands-on experiential learning to build healthy, sustainable learning spaces and foster the next generation of 21st century leaders.
This year's awards recognized nine individuals, institutions, and projects including SSFUSD – the only system-wide school district award recipient and only Best of Green Schools winner from California in 2019.

Inspiring Students with Sustainability
"Our designation as one of the 2019 Best of Green Schools is a phenomenal testament to our community's passion for sustainability and expansive view of what we consider 'the learning environment,” said SSFUSD Superintendent Dr. Shawnterra Moore. “We have collectively shaped our district identity through impactful energy upgrades both inside and outside of the classroom that are tied to integrated STEM offerings for our students that go beyond a typical school day. It is an honor to be named alongside other leading groups committed to cultivating the next generation of leaders, thinkers, and innovators who will tackle the environmental challenges of our day and make positive change."

Through a long-term partnership with ENGIE Services U.S., SSFUSD is in its ninth year of leading their district-wide sustainable energy and STEM education program. Serving SSFUSD's nearly 9,000 students, the program includes 2.02 megawatts of solar capacity, new LED stadium lighting, and a variety of other energy efficiency and infrastructure upgrades that improve overall safety and comfort for teachers and students.

The program goes beyond technology upgrades by connecting energy improvements with the learning environment through real-world, hands-on activities for students and professional development for teachers, including an annual Summer of STEM program.

Success through Stewardship 
"These honorees truly embody the value of stewardship," said Anisa Heming, director, Center for Green Schools at USGBC. "The work they have done to advance environmental literacy and the quality of the spaces where learning takes place, is so impactful. Youth everywhere are inspiring what the future of our world should look like; and we are committed to supporting them in that effort."

"We are so proud to celebrate our valued partner SSFUSD's ongoing success as a national, K-12 leader in sustainability and STEM education," said ENGIE Services U.S. Vice President of Business Development Courtney Jenkins. "From the visible transformation of the district as it implemented solar power, to the exciting LED stadium lighting upgrade at their high school football field, to more students joining the Summer of STEM offering every year, SSFUSD demonstrates their commitment to truly embodying what being a 'green' school means every day of the year."

The SSFUSD community continues to achieve significant success from their comprehensive energy and STEM education program, including:

  • Expected savings of $24MM in energy costs as a result of energy upgrades and renewable generation capacity;
  • Reducing annual electric usage by 60 percent;
  • Supporting student achievement with hands-on STEM learning opportunities, including a summer STEM Institute that has engaged over 2,000 students to date and provided professional development to over 150 teachers.

To learn more about SSFUSD's energy and STEM education program, read the case study at: https://engieservices.us/success-stories/success-story-south-san-francisco-unified-school-district/.